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UK Facilities Management implements plan to ensure campus is ready for upcoming fall semester


By Meg Mills
University of Kentucky

Along with 18 other workstreams, a facilities workstream with representatives from across the University of Kentucky was created this spring to discuss ideas to prepare the campus to reopen.

With those ideas, UK’s Facilities Management division has created six internal workstreams — space, campus navigation, custodial services, informational signage, building systems and construction — to make sure every inch of campus is ready for the campus restart.

UK’s Facilities Management division has created six internal workstreams to make sure every inch of campus is ready. (Photo by Mark Cornelison)

“The campus Facilities Workstream along with hundreds of staff from Facilities Management have stepped up to prepare the campus to restart,” said Mary Vosevich, vice president for Facilities Management. “This has been a huge effort but as can be expected facilities personnel are up to the challenge and are actively engaged in these preparations. There is no better team I would want to work with on this effort. As President (Eli) Capilouto has often stated, ‘That is who we are and that is what we do.’ I’m very proud of our team.”

Below is the implementation plan:

Space: The Space Workstream has assembled a team of approximately 12 UK Facilities Management staff who are working together to develop solutions for physical distancing challenges in university spaces. The spaces include classrooms, class labs, alternate classrooms, public spaces and college/department spaces.

• New layouts for all of the university’s 365 general classrooms have been developed using a 6-foot distancing planning guideline to establish safe distancing.
• A list of alternate classrooms has been identified including space in the Gatton Student Center.
• Campus public spaces are being reviewed and plans for proper physical distancing are currently being developed.
• Plexiglass shields are being placed near podiums in general classrooms.

Campus navigation: Individuals from Campus Physical Plant Department Planning, Design and Construction (CPPD PDC), Medical Center Physical Plant Department (MCPPD), Geospatial Information Services (GIS) and others are in the process of planning and developing implementation schedules to facilitate the reopening of campus by identifying best practices to navigate campus. This includes pedestrian pathways, crosswalks, bicycle/ scooter racks and parking, help tents, outdoor gathering areas, campus entry points and primary building entrances.

All areas will have a physical distance reminder.

• Bus stops will have signage indicating safe physical distances.
• Patio areas will space out moveable seating and place seats per table with signage indicating safe physical distancing.
• Green spaces will have signage indicating what activities are safe for the open green space based on CDC guidelines.
• Adirondack chairs and wall seating areas will be spaced accordingly.
• Designated outdoor locations that have been identified as assignable space will be connected to SAP/EMS/Astra for scheduled use.
• Building entrances will have exterior signage to identify a primary entrance, as well as a hand sanitizer dispensing station and informational signage in the main lobby area.
• Building circulation plans are also being developed to limit exposure.
• Parking lots and garages will have campus guideline signage and hand sanitizer dispensing stations.
• Residence hall main lobbies will have campus guideline signage, PPE dispensing stations and standard informational signage.

Custodial Services: In an effort to combat the COVID-19 virus, UK Facilities Management has restructured cleaning protocols to place greater emphasis on public areas and limit cleaning in personal spaces. Cleaning kits for offices and labs will be provided.

The Custodial Services staff will continue serving offices in a limited capacity. The following duties will be performed on an altered schedule:

• Vacuuming and floor mopping once a week.
• Collect trash and recyclables that are placed outside of offices, labs and classrooms.
• Providing hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrance of every building.

Hand sanitizer stations will be placed at primary entrances to all buildings, elevators and classrooms and will have hand sanitizer and wipes.

Cleaning and disinfecting of private office and individually assigned workspaces will be the responsibility of the employee assigned to the space. General cleaning supplies (cleaning kits) will be provided to the various departments to aid in this process.

In buildings serviced by Facilities Management, staff will clean and disinfect public spaces and common areas, and commonly touched surfaces, including classrooms, primary entrances, hallways and restrooms. These areas will be a priority for additional cleaning throughout the day.

• Restroom facilities will receive a minimum twice daily cleaning and disinfecting.
• Hand sanitizer stations will be placed at primary entrances to all buildings, elevators and classrooms and will have hand sanitizer and wipes.

Informational signage: Reopening campus to a new reinvented normal involves communication across campus. This will include interior/exterior directional signage, arrows, yard signs, various decals, entry/exit locations and more.

Building systems and utilities: Modern buildings use air handling units (AHUs) to bring in fresh air from the outside, condition the air and recirculate the air.

To ensure appropriate air quality:

• New building schedules will be in place to operate systems that ensure appropriate air exchanges and ventilation rates while occupied.
• Buildings will be purged with three air exchanges each morning before occupancy.

When water systems in a building may not be used for a period of time, water may be stagnant and present some challenges. To ensure appropriate water quality at all times, UK has a water flushing program in restrooms, water refill stations and general building systems. Water bottle refill stations will be available; however, water fountains will be disabled.

Construction: UK is committed to actively caring for the safety, health and well-being of everyone entering our campuses, buildings, grounds and off-campus property. CDC guidelines must, at a minimum, be followed by every contractor, subcontractor, vendor and site visitor.

Work activities within occupied buildings present unique hazards with regard to potential exposures and to that end, Capital Project Management has established protocols for all contractors.

For more information visit www.uky.edu.

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